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Things You Should Know About Your Contact Lenses

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Dr. Marc Weinstein

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Millions of people wear contacts every day. They’re convenient and easy to use, and they fade into the background — you might even forget you’re wearing them. But despite being so popular, many contacts users don’t know about proper wear and care rules. Plus, if you’re new to wearing contacts, you might have questions about eye safety and cleaning guidelines. Don’t worry if you feel a little lost. Here are the top 10 things you need to know about your contact lenses.

1. Follow The Wear Schedule from Your Optometrist It’s safe to wear most contacts for hours at a time, but that doesn’t mean you should keep them in 24/7. Depending on the type of contacts, your optometrist will prescribe a wearing schedule that’s safe and healthy. Overwearing your lenses can cause dry eyes, inflammation, and infections. Keep your eyes safe by following your doctor’s recommended contact-wearing schedule.

2. Clean Your Contact Lenses Properly Contact lenses get dirty over time. Bacteria and other contaminants build up throughout the day, even if you can’t see them. You could get an eye infection if you don’t clean the grime. Thankfully, cleaning contact lenses is pretty easy if you have the right cleaning solution. Ask your optometrist which cleaning solution is best for you, and read our guide on how to clean your contacts to learn more. (Keep in mind that you should only clean reusable contacts. If you wear disposable contacts, they should be thrown out and replaced daily.)

3. Don’t Sleep in Your Contacts No matter what, you can’t sleep with contacts in. Wearing contact lenses overnight dries out your eyes and increases your risk of diseases like pink eye. If you often sleep with contacts in, you could also experience cornea swelling and vision problems. Reusable contacts are no exception — always remove your lenses before bed.

4. Contacts Can’t Get Lost in Your Eyes Contacts can’t get lost in your eyes. However, they might shift out of place if you rub your eyes roughly. They may also get stuck temporarily if you wear them too long. In most cases, you can remove stuck contacts by blinking repeatedly and gently pulling out the lens. You can also apply lubricating eye drops to help lift the lens from the eye’s surface. If that doesn’t work, ask a medical professional for help and advice.

5. Wash Your Hands Before Handling Your Contact Lenses Your hands might look clean, but bacteria and grime can hide in plain sight. Always wash and dry your hands before handling your contacts. Touching your contacts with dirty fingers can transfer bacteria to your eyes and cause infections. Don’t risk it — wash your hands every time.

6. Keep Your Contacts Away From Water Believe it or not, water is bad for contact lenses. Cleaning contacts with water can damage the lens’ shape. Plus, water carries contaminants that can cause eye infections. In some cases, water also makes it difficult to remove contacts from the eye’s surface. To stay safe, don’t use water to store or clean your contacts, and avoid wearing contacts while swimming or bathing.

7. Do Not Share Contacts Contacts are medical prescriptions customized for your eyes. Just like glasses, they’re unique to the individual. Wearing someone else's contacts will likely cause blurry vision and headaches. Plus, sharing contacts is a major health risk. Swapping lenses can cause pink eye, yeast infections, and even cold sores.

8. You Still Need Sunglasses Some brands offer UV-blocking contact lenses, but you should still wear sunglasses to protect your eyes completely. Anti-UV contact lenses only protect the center of the eye, while sunglasses protect the whole surface. Plus, sunglasses reduce glare and harsh light, making it easier to see outdoors. If you don’t have a pair of shades, shop our collection of stylish sunglasses with prescription lenses for 100% UV protection.

9. You Still Need Safety Glasses Beyond UV protection, you should also think about safety glasses. Contact lenses don’t protect against debris like sawdust or dirt. If you have an industrial or outdoor job, you need safety-certified eyewear. 39DollarGlasses partners with Ocusafe to bring you shatter-proof prescription safety glasses at unbeatable prices. Shop the collection to find your perfect fit, from standard safety goggles to prescription safety sunglasses.

10. Visit Your Optometrist Every Year for an Eye Health Exam Yearly exams are essential for healthy eyesight. During an annual visit, your optometrist will check for vision changes and update your prescription. They will also look for signs of eye diseases that might need treatment. This is especially important for contacts users because the lenses directly touch your eyes. Schedule your annual visit to keep your eyes healthy.

39DollarGlasses Is Here To Help

39DollarGlasses is here to help you wear contacts safely and effectively. If you still have questions, contact our support team to learn more and get answers. As a doctor-run company, we’re passionate about helping you understand all things eye health. Contact our team today, and don’t forget to explore our selection of high-quality eyewear. From sunglasses and eyeglasses to contact lenses and safety goggles, we’ve got everything you need for healthy, sharp vision.

Contact Lenses FAQs

How much do contact lenses cost? The price of contacts varies from about $200 to $1,000 per year. That’s because a lot of factors influence the cost, from your prescription to the lens type. For the most affordable lenses, shop Online Contacts to find leading brands at low prices.

How do you remove contact lenses? You can remove contacts in a few simple steps. Start by thoroughly washing and drying your hands. Next, hold open your eye and gently pinch the contact between your thumb and index finger to pull it out. If your contacts are reusable, clean and store them right away. Otherwise, throw them out.

Do contact lenses expire? Yes, contacts expire. Expiration dates depend on the lens and brand. Check the box to learn more about your specific lenses.

How do you get a prescription for contact lenses? You will need an eye exam from an optometrist to get a contact lens prescription. The whole process takes about an hour. Check out our eye exam guide to learn more.

Is my contact lens prescription the same as my eyeglass prescription? No, contact lens prescriptions are different from eyeglass prescriptions. You will need a separate eye exam and prescription to get contacts. Check out our glasses vs. contacts guide to learn more.

How long do contact lenses last? The lifetime of your contacts depends on the brand, lens type, and other factors. Talk to your optometrist to learn more about your specific lenses.